Gifts In Action: Lifeline Fund Helps Bring Peace Of Mind

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The phrase, “taking your work home with you,” took on new meaning for Deb Valley, Lifeline Program manager at Fairview Health Services, when her family found themselves in need of the service she had been dedicated to for more than 20 years.

It began when she received a phone call no one wants to get: Her mother, Pauline Watkins, then 88, had fallen on the bathroom floor and had been unable to get up to call for help.

“When she told me about her experience, it broke my heart,” says Deb. “I live more than 100 miles away from her and can’t check on her daily, but I knew she needed help.”

A Lifeline lifesaver

Fortunately, after 22 years as an employee of the Fairview Lifeline Division, Deb knew just where to turn.

Fairview’s Lifeline program offers a round-the-clock response center. People who have fallen or have a medical emergency simply press a button and talk with someone who can offer immediate help at that critical moment.

Not only are Lifeline devices waterproof and easy to wear, some devices also offer fall detection capabilities that instantly call for help at the first sign of trouble.

Deb’s mother was enrolled and received a personal response device.

“It is so great to be able to provide my mom with a button that she can press any time she needs help,” says Deb.

Your dollars make the difference

Started in 1982 with just 10 subscribers, Lifeline now serves more than 3,500 individuals in the seven-county metro area. The subscription-based service is available to those who need it, starting at $39 a month.

However, thanks to donors, $10 monthly subsidies also are offered through a Fairview Foundation assistance program.

“For those on a fixed income, bringing the cost down to $29 a month is a lifesaver,” says Deb.

“It can mean they are able to afford groceries—a gallon of milk, eggs and bread. It can mean they keep their monthly subscription to the newspaper—something that allows them to connect to the outside world.

“I love knowing that, by supporting this program, we’re making sure patients don’t have to choose between being safe and having their basic needs met.”

To learn more about Lifeline, call 952-885-6185. For more information about the various funds to which you can contribute, visit the Fairview Foundation

Fairview Hospice Celebrates Veteran In Pinning Ceremony

Volunteer Jan Erickson, le and nurse practitioner Ann Wiborg pin an American flag to Cecile Hill's blouse and thank her for her service in the Marines.

Volunteer Jan Erickson, le and nurse practitioner Ann Wiborg pin an American flag to Cecile Hill’s blouse and thank her for her service in the Marines.

A proud member of a dwindling number, she was a Marine who served in Hawaii, met her husband there, raised a family in Alaska and is now receiving hospice care at Cottagewood senior community in Buffalo, Minn.

Honoring a veteran

Cecile's daughter, Sharon Hill Johnson, left, with her mother, Cecile Hill, says the whole family is grateful for her care from Fairview Hospice.

Cecile’s daughter, Sharon Hill Johnson, left, with her mother, Cecile Hill, says the whole family is grateful for her care from Fairview Hospice.

Fairview Hospice assembled family and friends on Monday, Feb. 9, to recognize the service of Cecile Hill as part of the We Honor Veterans program.

The music therapist, Becky Pansch, played the “Marine’s Hymn” on the piano, and Cecile joined her in singing. Spiritual care provider Dale Swan led a soldier’s prayer.

“On behalf of Fairview Hospice, please accept our thanks and gratitude,” Jan Erickson, Cecile’s hospice volunteer since last April, told her. “When you see this pin, know that your service to the nation is deeply appreciated.”

Ann Wiborg, nurse practitioner and a veteran, approached with a pin of the American Flag. “From one veteran to another, thank you for your service,” she said as she pinned the flag on Cecile’s blouse.

Say Hello to Jaclyn Bohm, DPM

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Say Hello to Jaclyn Bohm, DPM


What motivated you to become a doctor of podiatric medicine?

I have liked feet since I was little.  My family had a lot of foot issues and I became interested at a young age.  I have always thought they were important and thought it would be great to try and help keep people moving.

Do you have a favorite Fairview story, memory or experience?

I remember this one patient I saw at the Fairview Rosemount Clinic when I initially started with Fairview. She came down from 2 hours outside of the cities for an ingrown toenail and an ulcer and extreme pain to the toe. After examining her feet, we found that she had decreased bloodflow, coordinated with vascular services and found a really bad vascular issue that was able to be solved and if we had not have done that, she could have lost her toe or worse.  She was very appreciative.  It was an overall very positive experience.

What do you love about working at Fairview?

I like that Fairview has a group base approach to medicine and care. You are not only working closely with patients and primary care doctors but also specialty doctors. I think that provides more well rounded care and makes it easier for patients to get the treatment they need.

What distinguishes you from others in your field? What approaches do you take?

I like to approach each patient like a blank slate.  What works for one patient may not work for another patient. I try to individualize care.

What does a typical day look like for you at work?

One of the nice things about my days is that there is no typical day! I have clinic 3 1/2 days during the week and surgery one day a week. I also rotate being on call to cover both Fairview Southdale Hospital and Fairview Ridges Hospital.

Tell us a fun fact about you.  I can juggle!

Learn more about Dr. Bohm and explore careers at Fairview Health Services.

Fairview Retirees: Still Caring For Our Communities & Beyond

MINIclinicline St Alphonsus Catholic Church

MINI Clinic at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church

A little thing like retirement doesn’t stop Fairview Health Services employees from pursuing their life’s work. Many of our retirees return to volunteer with Fairview and continue their commitment to clinical care at home and around the globe.

Why do they do it? Just ask Donelle Heilman or Molly O’Brien.

‘Because there are things that need to be done’

Donelle, RNC, may have been retired, but she’s still caring for others.

After working 34 years at Fairview, primarily on The Birthplace at Fairview Ridges Hospital, she’s now volunteering for flu shot clinics and leading mission trips.

Recently, she led a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with Fairview employees, along with Burnsville’s Prince of Peace Church and Doulos Discovery School.

“Fairview was amazing. We got unused supplies that were going to be discarded. Pharmacy gave us a grant, and they gave us meds at cost. Donations to Fairview Foundation also supported the trip through grants for individuals and funds for the program.”

Working in a makeshift clinic in a church that was missing an outside wall and needed a tarp to cover the top, her volunteer work wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was valuably fulfilling.

“We coached people on nutrition, including some who didn’t have any teeth,” she says, as well as the best ways to breastfeed and how to resuscitate newborns.

“Everyone was so grateful, even in these dire conditions. A very elderly man asked a nurse to marry him.”

Her volunteer work while in retirement “feels like continuing what I love,” she says.

At the end of December, Donelle says she renewed her nursing license “because there are things that need to be done.”

Retired twice, and still rising to meet needs

Molly O'Brien, Fairview Volunteer

Molly O’Brien, Fairview Volunteer

Molly’s retirement volunteer work sent her on a mission closer to home, and brought her back to part-time work.

“I’ve tried to retire twice,” says Molly with a laugh. Molly, an RN, worked for Fairview for 42 years, primarily in the emergency and trauma departments at Fairview Southdale Hospital.

“The first time was in 2010, but I came back as a trauma consultant for a few months, and now I’m working part-time in community health.”

During the past flu season, Molly was trained to be a lead nurse for the Minnesota Immunization Networking Initiative (MINI), sponsored by Fairview to provide flu shots at no cost to individuals in need.

Between October and January, she volunteered in 14 MINI clinics.

“I still want to give to the community, and the need is huge,” she says.

“It’s amazing, the number of families who need shots, but also basic health care, foot washes, toothbrushes—the simplest care.

“Vounteering for MINI clinics was a real first-person experience of the need I had heard about and experienced in a much smaller way in my professional life.”

In addition, Molly has used her emergency nursing skills as a volunteer on first aid teams at Habitat for Humanity building sites and the annual Heart Walk, among other events.

Opportunities to give back

Our clinical volunteers appreciate the opportunity to ‘give back’ to our communities in need,” explains Paula McNabb, RN, whose focus is program development and clinical volunteer coordinator for community health and medical missions.

“They also enjoy meeting other Fairview employees who come from many different sites and work in a variety of different roles. Volunteers often express that community volunteer activities help them stay connected to Fairview.”

Learn more about volunteering opportunities at Fairview:

Remembering Mom: Fund Honors Elderly Women Who Need Home Care Services

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Battling a reoccurrence of bladder cancer in 2012, Carol Polley was extremely ill—and determined to stay out of the hospital.

The desire to respect her mother’s wishes while ensuring she was well cared for led Gail Polley-Nordhaus to Fairview Home Care. Enter Samantha Tessmer, case manager.

“Samantha came out and really nursed my mom back to health,” says Gail. “We had so much confidence in her—Mother had so much confidence in her. Samantha could encourage my mother to do things the family could not get her to do.”

Samantha remained a critically important resource for the family until Carol’s death in 2013. After her mother’s passing, it was important to Gail to honor her mother’s legacy by supporting other women of her mother’s generation.

“Women of this generation are twice as likely as men to be living at poverty level simply because they did not have the opportunity through pensions or retirement funds to build the financial nest egg required to supplement Medicare,” says Gail.

“Many women of this era go without sufficient health care and services.”

Gail established the Carol C. Polley Homecare Assistance Fund to offer financial support to elderly women with traumatic health occurrences who have a strong potential for recovery and would benefit from private home health care.

“My mother was a wonderful mom and a fabulous woman,” says Gail. “We still feel her. She makes her presence known to us all the time.”

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